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The Web Testing Handbook Paperback – January 15, 2001
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...wonderful job of condensing all of the major areas of knowledge required for Web testing in a very effective format. -- Alberto Savoia, Chief Technologist, Keynote Systems, Inc.
From the Publisher
To make the information in this book easier to understand and apply, each of the topics is explained using a case study approach. A fictitious company Brown and Donaldson, and an associated Web application (BDOnline), are used to illustrate the Web testing principles and practices explained in this book.
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- Depth of Subject Matter -
It's difficult to determine who this book is written to educate. The forward identifies the audience as existing software testers looking for education in the finer points of web software testing. That's legitimate, but it falls far short of this or any other unstated goals. The delivery of material in this work is quick and dirty. There's no topic that extends beyond a single-digit number of pages. This makes plenty of sense in the early chapters where the discussion of things like hardware compatibility are discussed. Other areas deserve far better coverage. The topics of browser compatibility, performance testing, and scalability testing, for example, are scantly explained. It's a disservice to the reader, since these are paramount topics for the intended audience. Another downfall to this approach is its failure to discuss the organizational differences between an IT team deploying software frequently versus one deploying incremental releases on a yearly timeframe. To be fair, the authors touch on this topic, but it's nothing comprehensive.
- Reference Value -
The reference value of this book is almost zero. I run a test team for a web based business of considerable size, and I have to say I found some actually misleading advice in the work. A lot of the explanations of what's smart and what's avoidable fall completely off the mark. Even worse, and this is actually enough of a reason to start looking for a different book right away, is the poor quality of the references throughout the book. While they spend some considerable time explaining the difference between the time in a normal software development cycle and one that operates under 'web time', they cite sources from two and three years ago that are completely irrelevant considering the widespread and fundamental changes to the online software development domain. They establish 'web time' as an accelerated, hectic calendar where nothing is the same after two months of churning, but then cite references from 1999 market research studies to back up their points. Though definitely not intentional, it's very neglectful. I turned to the front of the book at one point to re-verify the copyright date. ...
So, for me and for my needs, this book is essentially worthless and I'm sad to have spent [$$] to learn this. The topics are covered only as summaries, but those that deserve and in some cases completely require a much deeper explanation are treated similarly. Regarding the intended audience, it's still a head scratcher because of the delivery of the material. It's not heavy in any one area, so it's difficult to determine if this is for a QA manager (can't work, not enough attention to process), the new tester (can't work, not enough detail on the actual testing), the converting tester (might work, but the high-level descriptions coupled with the indescriminate delivery of the subjects would confuse anyone without due insight), or the experienced web tester (can't work, too much of the data is elementary to those already functioning as a tester in the web space). I don't suggest it, and I wouldn't suggest it in a future edition if they work to update the references.
Web Performance, Inc. Stress Testing Software
Some of the key areas in this book that make it so valuable are: (1) Addressing the plethora of web models (B2B, B2C, intranet, Internet, etc.), each of which presents developers and testers with unique challenges. (2) Showing the vast differences between testing traditional code, which is typically in the form of binaries, and web code, which is in the form of mark-up languages and scripts. An added wrinkle to web testing that is thoroughly covered here is graphics and font types. Traditional testing does not dwell much on these areas, but web testing demands that these software configuration items receive considerable attention during test cycles. (3) Covering every nuance of the one area that differs most from traditional testing compatibility. The authors thoroughly cover issues and factors here, which are important because for web systems in the Internet you have no control over client configurations.
Other chapters in this book that those new to web testing need to carefully read include: navigation, user interaction and usability and accessibility. These are typically given little attention during test cycles of host-based and client/server systems, but are of paramount importance in web-testing. One topic, readability, in Chapter 6 underscores this fact.
I especially liked the three chapters on performance, scalability, and reliability and availability. These are areas that are usually lightly addressed in most testing books, but are covered in a great deal of depth in this book. The chapter on post implementation was also particularly strong and emphasized the fact that web-based systems are, by their nature, dynamic from a configuration and change control point of view.
This book is best-of-breed. It's not only a "must-read" for testing professionals,. It will also provide web system project managers and developers with a wealth of ideas related to their roles, as well as operations and support people who need to also understand the role they have in web system quality assurance.
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It is clear that the authors' experiences are being documented, covering a great...Read more